Common Grace

May 20, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of common grace over the last twelve hours. Common grace is the idea that there are glimpses of God revealed throughout all humanity. It’s a big deal at L’Abri. It decreases the divide between what is sacred and what is secular. We see glimpses of God’s beauty and intellect in the works of William Shakespeare, Flannery O’Connor and J. R. R. Tolkein. We see glimpses of God’s beauty and creativity in the music of Bach, Mozart and Debussy. We see glimpses of God’s beauty and creativity in the art of Monet, and in the photography of Ansel Adams. The brilliant surgeon. The teacher who has a special ability to teach dyslexic children. The nurse who has a way with alzheimers patients. The chemist who discovers a drug that changes the game.

Today, I’m particularly thankful for that spark of God in Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin. I sat in urgent care last night for two hours thinking about this concept of common grace. I have an infected leg from a bug bite two days ago. I’m thankful and grateful for antibiotics. I hate taking them, and I rarely do. But, today, I’m grateful.

I’m also mindful of God’s dominion. I had a jam-packed day planned today, and God is slowing me down. I’ll now be in bed all day with my leg elevated.

So, there it is. One of the things that I hate is the “us versus them” attitude that occurs in some sects of Christianity. Common grace lowers those walls. It honors the fact that we’re all made in the image of God. We all have sparks of God’s beauty and brilliance and creativity.

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6 Responses to “Common Grace”

  1. Colline Says:

    You can even see God’s grace in the person that holds the door open for you, or in the smile of a young child. All we need to do in order to see it is to open our eyes wide. 🙂

  2. Bonnie Says:

    Thank you Robin – your words are always inspiring. I hope all is well with your leg and that you recover quickly. A bug bite? Seriously?

    • Robin Johnson Simpson Says:

      I can’t tell you how silly I felt going to Urgent Care for a bug bite. Charlie pressed me to go, and I went- so glad I did! I was a bit chagrined that the doctor was so concerned. My husband was spot on.

  3. Andy Says:

    I’ve had those glimpses of the wonder and majesty of God when seeing the Grand Canyon and Glacier National Parks for the first time. Reminded me of the words in “How Great Thou Art”…

    Love you sis.

  4. Eva Says:

    Amen to your beautiful way of acknowledging God in the great works as well as our daily life. May He continue to bless and keep you and your family.


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